Filmmaker Mason Mills hopes to teach people that life with dementia shouldn’t mean that life is over in the new documentary “Revolutionizing Dementia Care.” Following on the heels of Community Idea Stations’ nationally-distributed 2016 documentary “Alzheimer’s: The Caregiver’s Perspective,” this new film reveals how people living with dementia can still find ways to live full and meaningful lives.
“During our first documentary in 2016, we heard so many stories about how hard it was for families and individuals living with dementia to find the right long-term memory care community, “ says Mills. “So, we reached out to those who have researched and implemented best practices in memory care and documented what we saw…a kind of person-centered approach that can be applied both in professional settings and at home.”
While filming “Revolutionizing Dementia Care,” Mills and his team spoke to care partners, medical professionals, and people living with dementia from across the country. As Mills’ team documented new and emerging approaches in memory care, they observed a more heartfelt and individualized method of care that took into account not only disabilities, but also abilities.
“We hope this film inspires doctors, families, and people living with dementia to talk openly with each other about what can still be done to keep the person active socially and engaged in meaningful activities,” says Mills.
With this goal of conversation in mind, the Community Idea Stations is partnering with LeadingAge Virginia and the Dementia Action Alliance, to host an all-day, interactive companion workshop on Friday, November 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Community Idea Stations’ Richmond studios.
Speakers will include:
Deke Cateau: CEO, A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab
Judith Koziol: Ageless Grace Educator
Brian LeBlanc: living with early onset dementia and international advocate for Dementia Action Alliance
Karen Love: Gerontologist, Executive Director of the Dementia Action Alliance
John Zeisel: CEO & President of the I’m Still Here Foundation and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care
“Our goal for the workshop is to provide care partners with the tools for the transformation – a road map to transition from institutional, task-oriented practices to person-centered practices that will better address some of the challenges of living with and caring for a person living with dementia,” says Debbie Mickle, workshop organizer and Community Idea Stations’ Science Matters Project Manager. “We want everyone to walk away with new ideas to try and effective ways to evaluate success.”
Mickle emphasizes that the workshop will be highly interactive and encourages professionals, family care partners, and “anyone living the journey” or with an interest in the topic to register and attend.
Tickets for the workshop are available at IdeaStations.org/AlzCare.
Both Mills and Mickle hope the documentary and workshop will lead to many meaningful conversations within our community and beyond about best practices in dementia care and the benefits of a person-centered approach.
“Revolutionizing Dementia Care” premieres at Virginia Film Festival Nov. 1. The festival will also host a panel discussion featuring Mills and others featured in the film at the premiere.
Watch the local premiere of “Revolutionizing Dementia Care” Nov. 2 at 9 p.m. on WCVE PBS, WVPT PBS, WHTJ PBS, and online at IdeaStations.org/AlzCare.
Join the Facebook discussion group at Facebook.com/groups/RevolutionizingDementiaCare.
Nov. 1 – Virginia Film Festival Premiere, 5:30 p.m. at Violet Crown Charlottesville
Nov. 2 – Companion Dementia Care Workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Community Idea Stations Richmond
Nov. 15 – Local Premiere at 9 p.m. on WCVE/WHTJ and WVPT PBS, and online